AS Australia prepares for its fourth consecutive World Baseball Classic, retired star player Trent Oeltjen has been recalled for the major event with qualifiers starting at Blacktown International Sportspark next week.
Australia will have to win a minimum of three matches to qualify and Oeltjen – a former Penrith Baseball Club player – is confident of qualifying for the tournament.
“We’ve got a good team as well as a mixture of younger and older guys,” said Oeltjen.
The 32 year old retired from baseball during the 2014/15 season of the Australian Baseball League playing for the Sydney Blue Sox but will return to the field as requested by Baseball Australia who wanted him in the squad.
Oeltjen said one of the main reasons he agreed to come out of retirement was because playing for Australia meant so much to him.
South Africa will play New Zealand at 1pm on Thursday to kick off the qualifiers while Australia will verse the Philippines later that night.
“Representing Australia in baseball is the pinnacle of the sport. There is nothing like putting on the green and gold. It’s pretty special,” he said.
As a veteran of the sport, Oeltjen will play a key role for his nation given his experience and ability to lead younger players.
“I have been a part of the Olympics, a couple of World Cups and a couple of Baseball Classics. I was in their shoes before so I know what it takes.”
Twelve nations have already qualified including two-time champions Japan and the reigning
champions, the Dominican Republic.